Active duty soldier attempts to take own life - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Active duty soldier attempts to take own life

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - An incident at the Guam National Guard's Readiness Center caused panic and concern this morning as authorities responded to a reported shooting. An active duty member of the Guam Army National Guard is in critical condition at Naval Hospital. 

Normal operations at the Command Joint Force Headquarters building in Barrigada were suspended after a soldier attempted to take his life this morning.

Guam Police Department spokesperson Officer A.J. Balajadia told KUAM News, "We responded to an injured person at about 11:25 this morning at the National Guard Headquarters and 50+-year-old male individual was reported to NRMC with an injury to the head." Yellow caution tape blocked off the grassy area in front of the headquarters as police combed the area speaking with various members of the National Guard.

The shooting occurred near the Fallen Heroes Memorial.

Guam Fire Department spokesperson Lieutenant Ed Artero says medics transported him to the Agana Heights medical facility for a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He remains in critical condition. Guam National Guard public information officer Captain Ken Ola says the Guard is conducting an internal review of what led to the incident.

"We're looking at all the different angles, the personnel side of course and the incident side," he stated, adding, "I'm not at liberty to discuss any details at this point, but I can assure you that the protocols are being followed at this point."

KUAM News has learned that the soldier was supposed to stop working at the Guard in December.  No reasons have been given on why he was no longer to report, but Captain Ola confirms that there is an ongoing realignment of full time personnel that is occurring not just on Guam, but nationwide.

He could not confirm whether the soldier involved in today's incident was impacted by the ongoing realignment. In the last ten years, there has been an alarming number of suicides among service members prompting military leaders to change the way they approach suicide prevention by addressing the needs of soldiers and helping them cope with stress, depression and medical issues.  Just last week the Army released suicide data and for this year alone, the Army reports a total of 131 potential active duty suicides, 80 confirmed and 51 under investigation.

Captain Ola says the Guard has been more proactive in spreading awareness about suicide among soldiers, noting, "There is a suicide prevention program and our chaplain is intimately involved in it and soldiers go through consistent training on suicide prevention and part of suicide prevention is trying to spot who may be high-risk."

The soldier meanwhile remains in critical condition at Naval Hospital. 

 

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Pair of men arrested after Merizo home invasion

    Pair of men arrested after Merizo home invasion

    Two men are under arrest accused of entering a home and threatening the victim with a knife and tire iron. Bernard Joel Muna and Benjamin Anthony Muna are charged with home invasion, burglary and terrorizing. Police responded to the incident in Merizo on More >>
    Two men are under arrest accused of entering a home and threatening the victim with a knife and tire iron. Bernard Joel Muna and Benjamin Anthony Muna are charged with home invasion, burglary and terrorizing. Police responded to the incident in Merizo on More >>
  • Committee will look into GMH's controversy

    Committee will look into GMH's controversy

    Controversy at the hospital prompts a legislative investigative committee. The committee will meet to discuss a recent CMS survey outlining hospital mismanagement and deficiencies that could lose the hospital millions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid fMore >>
    Controversy at the hospital prompts a legislative investigative committee. The committee will meet to discuss a recent CMS survey outlining hospital mismanagement and deficiencies that could lose the hospital millions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid fMore >>
  • Athena McNinch receives Congressional Award Gold Medal

    Athena McNinch receives Congressional Award Gold Medal

    Congratulations to recent University of Guam graduate, Athena McNinch who was recognized by the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate today. She was presented the Congressional Award Gold Medal. The Congressional Award is given to young Americans, recoMore >>
    Congratulations to recent University of Guam graduate, Athena McNinch who was recognized by the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate today. She was presented the Congressional Award Gold Medal. The Congressional Award is given to young Americans, recoMore >>
Powered by Frankly